Wrapper: Aganorsa (Nicaraguan)
Binder: Aganorsa (Nicaraguan)
Filler: Aganorsa (Nicaraguan)
Factory: TABSA (Tabacos Valle de Jalapa S.A.)
CigarNoise Price Range: $8-$10
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Warped Lirio Rojo – Initial Thoughts
The first thing that struck me about this year’s Lirio Rojo is how much lighter the wrapper is from the previous release. This wrapper is caramel colored and smells of fresh cedar, vanilla, and hay. The foot delivers more potent aromas of hay and cedar along with a promise of something sweet hiding under the hood.
Full disclosure: I received this cigar from Andrew at SmallBatchCigar.com and didn’t purchase it. I burned one in a lounge shortly after it was released and suffered from such a loose draw that I couldn’t smoke it. This will be my first review in Kuwait, something that I’ve been holding off on for a while because of my nose and trying to figure out the weather patterns here. It’s currently 102 degrees with 24 mph winds – not ideal, but I think I’ve chosen a spot that will block most of the wind today except for moving out to the sun for a few pictures.
Also, you can read our Community Spotlight interview with Kyle Gellis of Warped if you’re so inclined. Or check out his short video at IPCPR:
Warped Lirio Rojo – First Third
Cedar, Cream, Brown Sugar, Hay, Pepper, Caramel Macchiato, Baker’s Chocolate, Faux Leather, French Bread
Getting this cigar lit in Kuwait is no small task, even with a torch lighter. Unfortunately, I dropped my torch after the first day and it’s now a heavy soft flame. With a draw that’s now too tight for my preference, I’m picking up a sophisticated profile of cedar, cream, brown sugar, and even a little hay to keep things interesting. This year’s release seems to be a sweeter rendition compared to the previous Lirio Rojo that I remember as being a spice bomb.
Speaking of spice, pepper starts to really make itself known after a few moments pass – first by lingering in the back of the throat, then by dominating the retro hale, and now by being prominent in the mouth feel as well. I might’ve called that too soon.
Sugar, spice and everything nice. At an inch in, pepper gives way to more of the brown sugar, cream, and cedar components. Maybe it’s just me wishing, but I’m also detecting a bit of pie crust from time to time. There’s a delicate balance of wonderfully sweet and powerfully spicy flavors in the first third of this year’s Lirio Rojo. Good Cop, Bad Cop.
Burning down a little further, hints of coffee and caramel begin to surge to the top, reminding me of a Caramel Macchiato from my favorite Sirens. I remember being a little hard on this cigar when it came out a month or so ago. Please forgive me, we just needed time to become acquainted.
Baker’s chocolate, faux leather, and notes of french bread dominate the retrohale near the end of the first third. The ash is holding strong even if the burn line isn’t aesthetically remarkable. The draw remains my only complaint at this point, refusing to give me enough throughput to really lose myself in this cigar.
Warped Lirio Rojo – Second Third
Coffee Stout, Cream, Pepper, Charred Meat, Baking Spices, Honey, Caramel, Butter Cookie
Dropping the ash, this segment begins with all the tasting notes of a Coffee Stout. Now, being in a dry country, I’ve not been able to drink for about 30 days. But, I’ll be damned if the second third doesn’t make my mouth water for craft beer. Cream is still a major factor at this point, giving the cigar a satisfying mouthfeel and toning down the flavors that might otherwise be too rich to handle if left to their own devices.
Pepper comes sauntering back in after a half inch or so of ash develops. Whereas the spice was previously checked by brown sugar, this time it’s being complimented with savory notes of charred meat, paprika, cloves, and even a pinch of cinnamon.
Not every cigar has a well-defined transition from the first to second third and it’s always a pleasure to enjoy the ones that do. This year’s Lirio Rojo just so happens to be one of those treats.
At the exact midway point, our ash fell on it’s own and cleared the way for several blissful moments of a honey and pepper duet. Like one of those movies that contrast pain and comedy in epic fashion, this combination has me on feeling connected with my sense of humanity.
Pepper continues to build (yet again) amidst a creamy background that’s occasionally relieved by warm, sweet flavors. Sometimes it’s rich and distinctive like honey; other times it’s like a soft caramel, and once or twice I noted something akin to a butter cookie.
Warped Lirio Rojo – Last Third
Burnt Molasses, Espresso, Oak, Ginger Bread, Hazelnut, Cocoa Powder,
Our last third begins with burnt molasses, espresso, oak, and ginger bread. The profile isn’t as creamy as before, letting the flavors have full reign over my palate and making me reach for water more often. The ginger bread notes are a particularly outstanding addition to the Warped Lirio Rojo profile.
Side note: noise cancelling headphones are an absolute must when reviewing cigars in the wind. Classical music is my mood of choice if anyone is wondering.
Pepper seems to have subsided for the final time in the last third. Sweet and savory notes take the helm for the ride home with the additions of hazelnut and cocoa powder. It’s almost a shame that a cigar with this much flavor doesn’t have a band to showcase it’s glory.
With approximately one inch left, the draw opens up and I’m tasting no-bake chocolate cookies. Holy shit this is fantastic.
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